In the Spring of 2003 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovararian Syndrome (PCOS). My body did not ovulate. No eggs=no babies. My husband & I struggled with what it meant to honor God's Will for our family. Did we accept the diagnosis without attempting treatment or utilize healthcare options? My sister-in-law, Amy, shared wise advice that finally brought peace to our decision making process. She challenged me to think of it as I would any other diagnosis involving my health. She asked me to consider if I had an issue with any other bodily system (other than reproductive) would I seek treatment to help my body do what it was designed to do? We talked and prayed and ultimately decided how far we would go with treatment. (I am not going to get into what we decided because it is incredibly personal for each couple and I do not want to sound like I am judging what is appropriate for other couples in this situation.)
November 11, 2003 I took a home pregnancy test. It was negative. November 13, I took another one really just on a whim. I had no symptoms of pregnancy, but we were going out to a nice dinner with colleagues and I wanted to feel OK about having a glass of wine.
Imagine my shock when there was a faint line. My hubby was home, but on the phone with the hospital. I called him to examine the test and we agreed a line is a line, however faint. I had been on some hormone injections, so our excitement was tempered by the fact that it could have been leftover hormones causing a false positive. My hubby called the lab at the hospital and scheduled an appointment for me at 7am the next morning for blood work. When the lab called with the positive results they asked how far along I thought I was. When I told the nurse, she suggested I had miscalculated. I assured her I was positive, as we had used injections on a tight schedule. She then giggled and stated if I was sure about the dates, with numbers this high, there was a strong possibility of two!
We could not get an ultrasound until I was 6 weeks pregnant. This meant a 3.5 week wait to find out if it was one baby or two. Thanksgiving was 2 weeks later, so we decided to wait and make the big pregnancy announcement then. Meanwhile, we tried to keep our cool and scarcely mentioned to others the possibility of twins. As hard as we tried to remain objective, we had become very comfortable, even excited, about having twins.
On December 1st, 2003 we drove to Atlanta for our ultrasound. After parking the car, we paused to pray. I will never forget our specific prayer, "Lord, whether it is one baby or two we are so thankful to have the opportunity to be parents."
The next thing I remember is being in the exam room watching the screen for heartbeats. I saw two and exclaimed, "There are two! I see two. Do you see them?" My husband giggled and grinned as he confirmed there were two.
Dr. Kaplan never even acknowledged our banter. She spoke only to the nurse as she said, "Baby A measures blah blah blah. Baby B measures blah blah blah. Baby C measures..."
"Wait? Did she say C?"
"Are there 3 babies?"
"Triplets? We are having triplets?"
"Oh my! Three babies. Triplets!"
"Wait! There are ONLY 3, right?"
We laughed. We cried. We laughed and cried. We were TOTALLY and completely in shock.
The odds of us conceiving at all were less than 15%. Once we cleared that statistic, the odds of conceiving twins were 10%. The odds of more than twins were less than 2%. Only once in those 3.5 weeks of waiting did we even consider more than twins and it was through laughter.
I only really remember the reactions from 2 people that we told: the grandmothers. We called my Mom first and she thought we were kidding. It really took a fair bit of convincing that we were not just teasing her. She even hung up on me during the initial call.
Since we were only about 15 minutes away from my husband's parents' house, we drove straight there. My father-in-law was at work. We called Carol & told her we wanted to show her the first picture of her newest offspring. As we showed her the picture, we pointed out that 3 sacs meant 3 babies. She screamed and squealed and cried and JUMPED up and down for almost a full minute. We finally had to sit her down on the stairs. That moment is a priceless memory!
We repeated the initial conversation, in shock, for a few weeks. We went through the motions, switched into hyperplanning mode and excitedly did what we needed to do. But at night, before we'd fall asleep, we'd often just repeat, "Three babies."
I think the children were almost 2 years old before it sank in.